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Maintenance liability for highways
Practice notes

This Practice Note distinguishes between highways that are privately maintainable and highways that are maintainable at the public expense. It explains that the constructor retains liability for a new adopted highway until it has been open for around 12 months. Other highways may be privately maintainable by reason of tenure, enclosure, or prescription. It discusses the use of a s 38 agreement which allows for the adoption of a highway, passing the maintenance liability to the highways authority. The Note also sets out the public bodies that have a duty under the Highways Act 1980 to maintain highways maintainable at public expense, including the Secretary of State, county councils, metropolitan or unitary councils, and London boroughs.

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